And more from our Gossip Girl: Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin … Will and Kate — okay, I watched the kiss!
“BEING NAKED approaches being revolutionary!” wrote John Updike.
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THE FULL Monty? The brand new, refreshing-looking Newsweek magazine reports what we, who actually go to movies in the cineplexes – and watch cable TV — have known for some time: the male member is “out there” on the big screen, big-time.
Reporter Chris Lee writes that “the last taboo” is not so taboo after all. Whether in comedies, drama or action flicks, on screens large and small, male actors are finally showing what many female actors have been required to show since censorship fell by the way side in the late Sixties.
Some actors, such as Ewan McGregor, have become so well-known for “dropping trou” that he recently released a statement saying he wouldn’t show the family jewels anymore. He said he was getting too old for such exposure. Indeed, in Roman Polanski’s “Ghost Writer” last year, Ewan had the obligatory nude scene, but photographed from the back. (Well, that’s no fun; it’s just a tease.)
Maybe you are so young or under-black-and-white film educated that you don’t know audiences in 1934 gasped when Clark Gable removed his shirt and revealed a bare chest in “It Happened One Night.” Underwear sales plummeted and this was when most male undies were “wife beater” types and today’s ubiquitous T-shirt seems not to have been yet invented.
Nude women can be touchingly beautiful, but total male nudity is riveting, aggressive and electric. Now we have it all. O tempore, O mores, indeed!
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I CONFESS. When the tornadoes were ravaging Alabama last week and hundreds were dying practically before our very eyes, I “edited” television news, clicking away from any station pounding on the royal wedding and switching to whatever station was covering America’s latest weather disaster.
But the morning of the wedding, there I was, like any fan, waiting for them to come on the Buckingham Palace balcony to wave and kiss.
The future King of England, William, looked splendid in his red Irish Guards uniform while critics carped that his Army, Household Cavalry and RAF cohorts were mad that he had ignored their uniforms. (It is thought that Irish Guards won out because Queen Elizabeth II will strengthen ties between London and Dublin next month.)
The Queen, who was a bit “too much” all in yellow, seemed distracted during the balcony waving. She called the shots and ended the process after a few minutes, moving back inside. (I was amused that the Royal “expert” Martin Bashir lost his bet on MSNBC that the Queen would appear all in pale blue.)
The bride, Kate Middleton, looked sleek, simple and her long-sleeved demure lace Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown, which reminded me of Grace Kelly’s. She was as far away from the flounces of Diana as possible. (They could hardly corral Diana’s enormous dress and train into the carriage. And you see the young India Hicks “trying” to do just that!)
Kate didn’t have that dreamy Cinderella vibe. She looked like a modern, confident, happy woman who will be 30 next year; one in control of her destiny. One who doesn’t believe in fairy tales.
The royal couple seemed genuinely happy to be marrying and obviously like/love each other.
An exhausted U.S. media returned home over the weekend and it looked as if they enjoyed their moments in Britain. It was what insiders call “a broadcasting sweet spot” – a relief from all the bad news, controversy and tragedy dominating international airwaves. The inevitable pageantry of the British made all the difference. It was, I suppose, a relief from the troubled, serious countenances of news anchors dealing with fateful tornadoes, thunderstorms and floods.
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I USUALLY applaud the Roundabout for whatever it tries; it is such a valiant off-Broadway and B’way creator.
So I went to see the impressive Donna Murphy, who was such a revelation in “Wonderful Town” and “Passion.” But her demanding turn in “The People in the Picture” just left me bewildered. And none of it is her fault. I have seldom seen a less appealing musical – conflicts in a family about growing old and remembering too much of a Polish theatrical group under the Nazis. Not a single person onstage gave you likability or made you care what happened to them.
And almost everything that happens onstage telegraphs itself and is unbearable. (Making Yiddish comedy out of tragedy has already been done perfectly by Ernst Lubitsch in the original “To Be or Not To Be” and by Mel Brooks in the remake, as well as “The Producers.” No one else need apply.)
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YOU’VE SEEN the photos of actress Julianne Moore, transformed into Sarah Palin for a new movie
”Game Change” – all about the race for the White House in 2008.
Miss Moore is nothing if not intrepid. I guess she is so sure of her physical beauty that, like Meryl Streep and Annette Bening, she is willing to be made unattractive (or in Palin’s case – attractive) to serve the drama. She let herself be dragged about by the hair in two recent acclaimed films – the noteworthy “The Kids Are All Right” and “A Single Man,” appearing drunk, disheveled and authentic.
She is very much to be admired. I am sure she will be amazing as she plays a vice-presidential nominee at odds with the presidential aspirant who has chosen her. (i.e., Palin and John McCain.)